Terminally ill Nevada mom advocates for medical aid-in-dying law

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Published Monday, April 3, 2023
by Alex Gonzalez

(Nevada News Service) Lynda Brooks-Bracey, a mother of four in Las Vegas, learned she was terminally ill with metastatic pancreatic cancer in February 2021. She is currently on palliative chemotherapy and has dedicated her last months of life to speak out in support of Senate Bill 239, also known as the Nevada End of Life Options Act.

The bill would allow a terminally ill adult to request a medical prescription for a peaceful death.

Brooks-Bracey said she wants Nevadans, like those in similar situations to hers, to have the option and choice to opt for medical aid in dying and avoid suffering and pain. 

"It is to have the option if it should become necessary for my family members or any family member or people in Nevada that want that choice because I really do feel like it is a medical choice," Brooks-Bracey explained. "It is another option. It is not in place of."

Brooks-Bracey pointed out Washington D.C. and 10 other states currently allow medical aid in dying. Nevada is not among them. Brooks-Bracey acknowledged because of her rapidly declining health, it is unlikely she'll be alive if the bill is enacted but added she remains hopeful it'll become an option, if not for her, for other Nevadans. 

Brooks-Bracey added while terminal illnesses are challenging on various levels for patients, they are also hard on the patient's families and friends. She realizes people may have different beliefs and opinions on the matter, but said it comes down to ensuring autonomy to those who need it most. 

"We expect that things will go smoothly, and often it might, but for those that isn't going to happen, it is so important that they have a choice," Brooks-Bracey emphasized. "There is some misconception that people are going to run to this bill and everybody wants medical aid-in-dying, and it is suicidal, that is not what is happening."

Brooks-Bracey stressed she is doing everything she can to stay alive as long as possible, but added the law could become the final step for Nevadans who are terminally ill and have deemed medical aid-in-dying necessary and just alongside their medical provider. She added polling shows two-thirds of Nevadans want the initiative to pass.

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